The science and innovation department recently updated parliament on the Draft Decadal Plan.
The Decadal Plan will serve as an implementation plan for the White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation for the next ten years.
Cabinet approved the Decadal Plan in March 2021 for implementation.
In a statement, cabinet pointed out that the Decadal Plan will serve as a government master plan incorporating other departments such as the departments of agriculture, land reform and rural development; mineral resources and energy; health and trade, industry and competition.
Cabinet approved the White Paper in 2019.
Objectives of the White Paper include:
• Adopt a whole-of-government/society approach to innovation.
• Instil a culture of valuing STI, and integrate STI into government planning and budgeting at the highest levels.
• Create an enabling and inclusive governance environment.
• Create a more innovation-enabling environment.
• Increase and transform NSI human capabilities.
• Expand and transform the research system.
• Expand and transform the institutional landscape.
• Increase funding and funding efficiencies.
Speaking last year during the department’s Budget Vote 2020/21 in parliament, the higher education, science and innovation minister, Blade Nzimande, declared that the overarching goal of the Decadal Plan is to increase the contribution of the National System of Innovation (NSI) to the achievement of South Africa’s national objectives.
“This will be done by enhancing innovation and experimentation, and by accelerating the use of tried and tested approaches to successfully introduce innovation for transformative social and economic change,” he said.
During the briefing, the department pointed out that in-depth consultation with officials from relevant government departments on details of initiatives in the Draft Decadal Plan are being finalised.
Consultations are also focused on the sharing of financial resources to implement the initiatives.
The plan is to complete the consultations by mid-June 2021.
Public consultation on the Draft Plan is scheduled for August 2021 with final cabinet approval set for the end of September 2021.